Greece is home to many stray animals and they’re often left to their own devices. Many struggle to find food, shelter, or the medical care that they need to survive.
Living on the street is hard, and that’s something Ermioni Giannakou knows well. She, along with her two friends, founded Diasozo Animal Rescue (DAR) to help the street dogs throughout Greece.
The three women travel the country and feed hundreds of stray dogs.
Not only do the dogs need food, but they’re often lacking in veterinary care as well. As Giannakou shared with The Dodo, many of the dogs they encounter are desperate for medical care. DAR is often an animal’s last chance at living a quality life or even living a life at all.
While Giannakou can’t possibly rescue every animal she comes across, she does take in some dogs from the streets. Those dogs have their medical needs treated and are evaluated for temperament and trainability. Then, they’re put up for adoption in Germany and other European countries.
She explained to The Dodo, “I live in an area in central Greece called Karditsa, and I try to rescue and rehome as many animals as possible.”
She added, “My charity is based 100% on volunteer work and donations, and receives no funding from any official channels. I care for more than 100 animals that have been rescued and every day I get calls for dogs and cats abandoned, sick, abused, mother dogs raising their babies on the streets and severely sick dogs that are suffering without any help from anyone.”
The women can’t rescue as many animals as they’d like through DAR because the expenses add up fast. But, they’re playing a huge role in changing the landscape for stray dogs in Greece.